“The state cannot continue to treat its universities as if they did not belong to the state”, President Boric
In his first official appearance as campus boss, the president also announced that the government was working to integrate the U. de Chile Clinical Hospital into the public health network. “The first meeting of the commission to address this will be chaired by our Minister of Health and will be convened next week. We’ll speak up.” he said.
Ennio Vivaldi, rector of the institution, spoke of the need to redefine the concept of public university. “It’s amazing the discussion about whether private universities should be considered public. I don’t think it’s a funding issue. The real effect is that, in the ambiguity, public universities cannot rebuild themselves as such. They want there to be no more public universities in Chile,” he said.
The political and academic world gathered this Wednesday, March 13 at the University of Chile for the celebration of a new inauguration of the academic year of the campus. This year in particular, the debate on the definition of public education marked the speeches of President Gabriel Boric and the President of the Constitutional Convention, Maria Elisa Quinteros, which were part of the event which took place in the Hall of Honor.
“It is a great joy for me to be at Casa Central, which has been my home in many ways, and which is, above all, a home at the service of all of Chile”, began the president, who also announced the government’s intention to integrate the clinical hospital on campus into the public network. “This university has been an example of openness and contribution to the country, for example with its clinical hospital and its commitment, and with the generation of contributions and meetings concerning the constituent process. We are working to be able to include HCUCH in the public healthcare system this year,” he said, adding that “the first meeting of the commission to address this will be chaired by our Minister of Health and will be convened next week. . Let’s talk”.
Also, on the repositioning of the public sector, he said to himself “very honored to be Patron of the University of Chile, and from this position I hope to contribute to strengthening public education. The state must stop treating state universities as if they don’t belong to the state.”
Meanwhile, Rector Vivaldi highlighted the current scenario of opportunity and change, where public education needs to be repositioned. “It’s amazing the discussion about whether private universities should be considered public. I don’t think it’s a funding issue. The real effect is that, in ambiguity, publics cannot reconstruct themselves as such. They want there to be no more public universities in Chile”.
“One of the consequences of the ambiguity of the concept of public universities,he continued, “is to facilitate the transfer of public goods and functions to the private sphere. In addition, to appropriate and privatize public property, private universities have the advantage of being able to negotiate quietly without being subject to the strict procedural rules that govern public universities.
Part of the rector’s remarks covered some of the milestones of the last year of the campus, such as the return of the public television channel of the University of Chile – UChile TV – one of the many instances canceled by the economic model put in place. place during the dictatorship. ; The recent launch from Cape Canaveral of a constellation of satellites developed by the University of Chile and the start-up of the Center for Biotechnology and Vaccine Production in Parque Carén, in collaboration with the Italian company Reithera, the company Cytiva, Nordika and Italfarmaco , which demonstrates the campus’ interest in contributing concretely to the development of science and technology in the country.
For her part, the president of the convention and a graduate of the U. de Chile, María Elisa Quinteros, said that “the role of public universities is fundamental in the socio-cultural, scientific and technological development of the population. The functions they perform are directly related to the promotion of critical thinking”. He added: “Today we are faced with an unprecedented opportunity in our republican and democratic life, an opportunity that invites us to dialogue and reach consensus on the role of these institutions for each region of the country and its communities. , groups or collectives”. The meeting was attended by the Minister of Education, Marco Antonio Ávila; Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola; the Minister Secretary General of the Government, Camila Vallejo; the Minister of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, Flavio Salazar, and the Undersecretary for Higher Education, Verónica Figueroa Huencho, among others.
The meeting is available here: